Supply chain stability

Refining

  Mining 

Supply chain stability

As corporations are held to account in an era which demands moral perfection it is not uncommon to see lawsuits raised against consumer brands who have ended up with child labour or conflict minerals in their supply chain. 

The consequences can be severe to brand value but, more importantly, the Dodd Frank directly legislates against materials benefitting armed groups being used in the supply chain for US consumers.

Core to our values of creating ethical and sustainable supply chains, we bring certainty and transparency to our downstream customers so they can, with total confidence, keep their promises to their own clients that they are not just compliant with legislation but taking active steps to uphold themselves to their own moral values.

Refining

Having previously designed and built a full scale experimental wet chemistry refinery for tantalum and niobium, as well as other minor metals, we have commenced the building of the first East African industrial scale high purity oxide refinery in the Bugasera industrial park in Rwanda.

Situated just a couple of hours driving from our mines, the refinery is ideally positioned to bring us closer to the source of over 50% of the world’s tantalum production and integrate the value chain with the communities who should benefit from it.

True to one of our core values of creating fair value in the supply chain, the new refinery not only serves the local job market but also champions the most important and most ignored realities of economic fairness, knowledge transfer.

Too often the African resources discussions revolve around investment and increasing commodity exports but rarely do they centre around transferring innovation and expertise to local operators and facilities beyond cursory administration roles.

The ability to produce, for the first time in history, high purity oxides of tantalum, niobium and other REEs, will transform the value proposition in Rwanda to help attract downstream manufacturing but also open the way to home high-end research and development projects in local universities and incubators.

Mining & Processing

We operate our own mines in Rwanda, in the Gatumba region, producing tantalum and niobium concentrates as well as cassiterite, (tin concentrates).

Over several years of exploration and test work we have assured ourselves of the mine’s long term sustainability and developed a community-conscious mine plan. 

We have also developed a unique processing line to address the problem facing mechanisation of the tantalum mining industry which, even now, is predominantly artisanal among African producers and their South American counterparts.

The metal bearing mineral, in our case pegmatite, (a weathered granite), is known for its fine grained, friable, characteristics which present unique challenges to recovery processes and is the cause of region-wide resource losses.

Our partnership with Gravity Mining was expressly to solve this decades-old problem.  With higher recovery rates also comes a reduction in undesirable waste material and fine grained metals entering the water system.

We constantly reinvest in our mines and our development roadmap includes using the unique landscape of our concessions to produce renewable energy and electrify all mining equipment as part of our endeavour to eliminate carbon emissions in our production processes.

Both techniques, (and their variants), suffer the same problem.

The friable pegmatites are so fine grained that after crushing an average of up to 80% of the target ore is lost and left unrecoverable according to regional statistics.

Naturally, this impacts production cost and profitability for artisanal miners.

We addressed this specific problem with Gravity Mining Ltd., our Cornish based partner and developer of the Multi-Gravity Separator, (MGS).

With its own patents for fine grained mineral recovery, the MGS has provided a tailor-made solution for tantalum and other minerals sharing similar problems with fine grained ores which increase recovery rates in excess of 70%, or in the case of East African ores, often three times more recovered mineral than traditional methods.

With higher recovery rates also comes a reduction in undesirable waste material and fine grained metals entering the water system.

We constantly reinvest in our mines and our development roadmap includes using the unique landscape of our concessions to produce renewable energy and electrify all mining equipment as part of our endeavour to eliminate carbon emissions in our production processes.